Thursday, June 25, 2009

still getting to know her

Ellis is full of life. She is, as I call her, the super-silliest. And she has the greatest laugh. She draws people in and they can't resist talking to her. The most surprising of whom was the brooding, rocker teenager at a Wal-Mart somewhere between Seattle & Portland.
Once you know Ellis, she is a total & complete charmer. That last trip to Seattle, I could sense the darkness looming overhead as Ellis & I boarded the plane and walked down the isle. By the time we had landed, she had won over everyone within a two row radius, including the perpetually-annoyed looking fellow sitting behind us. But, to strangers, this is more likely the look you'll be met with. Little Miss Serious. Ellis' standard m.o. is to check you out for about 15 minutes, and once she decides she likes you, she turns all cute, and is all, Look at me! Hey! See all the really cute things I can do??
Since we frequently have short interactions with people, I always wondered how she would react to those who fall into the "under 15 minute" category. Will she be trustful to a fault or will she be a good judge of character? Will she sense when people are weird and it's okay to ignore them? I know it's my job to teach her not to take candy from strangers & not to get into the van to see the puppy, but what if someone is able to convince her otherwise? (I realize with each passing day that I have much to be paranoid about when it comes to my daughter). Bottom line is, will she know when to back away.

Today I got my answer. We went to Safeway after work, and since we had just picked her up from my mom's, I didn't realize how tired she was until we got into the store. Poor thing had dark circles under her eyes. I'm trying to hurry through my list as well as the remember the things not on my list that I knew we needed, she's pulling on her seat belt, indicating that SHE WOULD LIKE TO GO HOME NOW, and would you believe I didn't even forget anything?

By the time we get to the checkout, she's fighting to keep her eyes open, which I'm trying to explain to the checker who keeps asking how she's doing. She's of course not responding because A, she's exhausted, and B, he was inside his 15 minute window. I am glad she's not responding because C, he's a weirdo.

He's trying to high-five her, still asking her how she's doing, referring to himself as grandpa (whoa, buddy), and while we're waiting for a price check on strawberry jam, he starts waving around the Pirate's Booty going pirate booty, pi-ret booty, pirate boo-tay. I'm thinking, Dude, if my kid, who up until now has been behaving like an angel, has a meltdown because she's tired & you're waving her favorite snack around in her face? So help me.....

And this is the really good part. The part you've been waiting for. He tries to high-five her again, and then a low-five because she won't budge, and then she actually scrunched her face at him & pushed his hand away. She DOES know when people are weird! I was thrilled.
As we walked away from the check stand, I concurred with her that he was indeed, very weird, and didn't he overstep his boundaries. On the way home, she chattered a bit from the backseat of the car, and about halfway into our 4 minute drive, she was completely crashed out.

Maybe now I can worry about one less thing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Creative Share

For the past six months there have been so many things I've wanted to share. Little things like how I'd become obsessed with watching the Real Housewives of New York and then New Jersey. (man, those ladies sucked me in!) Or really incredible things like what it felt like the first time Ellis hugged me or said mama. Or how I look at her every. single. day and think how freaking amazing she is and oh my god how did I get so lucky to have a daughter as gorgeous & perfect as Ellis? Seriously. Have you seen her? And she loves to garden! What more could I ask for?

I hope that this post marks the end of my unintended blogging hiatus. That being said, one of the things I have looked forward to every day is reading Donna Downey's blog. She's actually one of the very first blogs I found and I wish I could remember what I Googled to make her name pop up, but there she was, and I think I read her entire archives in one, long sitting.

Donna is insanely creative and has allowed her art to evolve naturally over the years. I love her no-fear approach to art, how she can take ordinary bits & pieces and turn them into something beautiful, and how she inspires women to find their artist within.

The latest in her Campaign for Creativity is Inspiration Wednesdays where she encourages you to take a chance with your art. The whole notion of Inspiration Wednesdays goes much deeper than that, but in its simplist form, it's just finding time to be creative because sometimes, its good for the soul. I'm expanding that to include writing one blog post per week, even if it's just to post a photo because I've got LOTS of those.

Lately I've satisfied my creative urges with greeting cards: creativity born from necessity! Most recently have been Father's Day and in my family, that's no easy task. Husband, check. Dad, check. Step-dad, check. Father-in-law, check. I do feel badly that I didn't have them made in time to send a hand-made card to my father-in-law, but his birthday's in August, so I have a second chance where that's concerned. are this year's Father's Day cards. I generally use one or two or ten eyelets on any given project, but this time I tried to branch out & use some of the other embellishements I'm so fond of hoarding and not using. Like, what, I can't buy more hinges?

(font is ddscript)

I felt the inside needed a little something extra, but all in all, I was really pleased with how it turned out.

With this card I had a very vague idea of what I wanted, which was lots of rough edges, and striped paper resembling a men's shirt. And that was about it. After layering the striped paper with the green scrap and attaching the "happy father's day" printed on vellum, it wasn't quite enough. Enter the rustic wire! Now, this is where I pat myself on the back for actually using my supplies instead of the aforementioned hoarding. Adding a rough boarder of wire and attaching with the Tiny Attacher was exactly what it needed.

Next up was my mom's birthday, and I made this little gem on my lunch break today. The day of her birthday. See, I knew last week that her birthday was on Tuesday, but that was last week, and by the time Tuesday rolled around, well, let just say it's a good thing I noticed the birthday card on her counter this morning. I know, I'm a terrible, terrible daughter. And as you can see, I'm now a HUGE fan of the rustic wire. (and the tiny attacher) I was originally going to fashion a heart, but it started to resemble more of a balloon so I went with it. What did Bob Ross say? Happy accidents? The red & white paper is actually wrapping paper that I scooped up from Fred Meyer a while back, and the eyelets? Did I mention that I can't make anything without eyelets? (font is ali edwards)

It feels good to create again, and it feels good to write again. Thanks, Donna, for offerring up this outlet and giving me the push I needed!